How to Prioritize Ethernet Over Wi-Fi on Mac OS X

Joel Lee 06-07-2016

By default, if you have an OS X device that’s connected to both Ethernet and Wi-Fi, it should prioritize the Ethernet connection over the Wi-Fi one. Sometimes it gets wonky though, in which case you’ll always be on Wi-Fi no matter what.


How do you fix such an issue? The steps are actually quite simple. First, launch System Preferences (using Spotlight is fastest Search More Efficiently In Mac OS X With Our Top Spotlight Tips Spotlight has been a killer Mac feature for years, with Cupertino regularly schooling Redmond in the art of desktop search. Here are a few tips to help you find more on your Mac. Read More ), then select Network:


At the bottom left of that window, look for the gear icon with the down arrow. Click on it to open the menu, then select Set Service Order:


Here you can drag-and-drop each item to change the priority order of your internet connections. Move Ethernet to the top to get the system to always use Ethernet over Wi-Fi when both are active. Wi-Fi will be a backup.


Click OK and then Apply and you’re done!

This is especially useful for when your Wi-Fi is unstable How to Fix a Slow or Unstable Wi-Fi Connection Why does your internet suck? Here's how to fix an unstable internet connection by changing the settings on your Wi-Fi router. Read More , but it’s also a good solution when your Wi-Fi is slow in general Why Is My Wi-Fi So Slow? Here's How to Fix It Need to download data fast, but have slow Wi-Fi? Why is this happening? Here's how to fix a slow Wi-Fi connection and speed it up. Read More and there’s nothing you can do to improve the speed — when even this trick won’t work How to Boost Your Wi-Fi Speed Up to 5x With One Quick Fix If you're having trouble with your Wi-Fi speed, there's one quick fix that only takes a minute but could significantly boost performance. You should try it ASAP! Read More !

Do you have any other kinds of internet trouble on Mac OS X? Tell us about it in the comments, along with any solutions you may have.

Related topics: Internet, Troubleshooting, Wi-Fi.

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  1. nshani
    July 9, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Neat. Thanks for sharing - will be put to good use.